Jury trial set for Las Vegas valley teen accused of dropping gun on playground moments before toddler shot herself

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A jury trial is set for the teenager accused of dropping a gun onto a playground, leading to a toddler shooting herself, records showed.

Tshaun Rucker appeared in front of Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt Tuesday morning. His jury trial was set for November 12.

Rucker, who was 16 at the time of the incident, faces felony charges of attempted murder, three counts of discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle, and child abuse. He also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of possessing a dangerous weapon on a childcare property and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a firearm by a child under the age of 18, court records showed.

Las Vegas police: Teen left loaded gun on playground just moments before toddler shot herself

Police said on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, Rucker boarded a bus around 10:30 a.m. near Nellis Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue. Shortly after he got into an altercation with another person on the bus, resulting in Rucker shooting the man three times, according to an arrest report.

Rucker then got off the bus, ran to a nearby daycare, and jumped over a wall into the playground. Surveillance video showed Rucker dropping the loaded firearm before jumping back over the wall and leaving moments before a group of nine children and a preschool teacher entered the playground, the report said.

As the children began to play, a 2-year-old named Ava, identified by a family friend, and her twin brother, went to the corner of the playground where Rucker dropped the gun. Moments later, the video showed smoke in the air after Ava picked up the gun and shot herself in the chest, according to the report.

Toddler fights for life at Las Vegas hospital after discovering gun, shooting self

According to the family friend, doctors put Ava into a medically induced coma and predicted she would remain in the hospital for at least two months.

Rucker was arrested in a nearby business after the shooting.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KLAS.